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Busy Philipps Explains That Controversial Post About Heath Ledger

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January 22nd was the 10-year anniversary of the accidental overdose of one of Hollywood’s golden boys, Heath Ledger. The actor’s death left many people heartbroken, family and total strangers alike. But everyone mourns differently, and some fans had some things to say about Busy Philipps’ grief process.

Grieving On Social Media

At the time of the anniversary, Michelle Williams, the mother of Heath Ledger’s 12-year old daughter, was shooting a film in San Francisco. Being Williams’ best friend, Philipps traveled to be with her during this delicate time. First, she posted an Instagram story of herself crying while listening to a song that reminded her of the late actor. But it wasn’t this that spurred fans’ heated condemnation.

Busy Philipps/Instagram

It was a later post of hers that received the massive backlash. Philipps shared a photo of her and Williams, looking very somber, with the caption: “It’s ok.” It seems like she was the one who took the photo as Williams appears too shattered to even acknowledge it. Many people viewed Philipps’ act as a phony, ego-centric cry for attention.

She Defended Herself in The Cut

Philipps has been known for being candid on social media. For The Cut, she opened up about the whole incident during an emotionally-charged interview. “I think some people felt like I was being exploitative,” she said. “I’ve never even really spoken about [Ledger’s death], because I never would want to have it be misconstrued in that way, but it was the ten-year anniversary.”

Busy Philipps/Instagram

Choked by her own tears, Philipps added: “It’s just been a long ten years, you know? That anniversary just brought up a lot of … I can’t believe it’s been ten years. I was pregnant with Birdie. I had seen him a couple months earlier, and you know, [Williams and Ledger] were broken up. I’ve never talked about it. I’ve never shared it, because I’m hyper-protective of [Williams] and her daughter. But I also think … I think it’s okay. Everyone’s allowed to have their own feelings about something that happens.”

Others Miss Him, Too

But Philipps and Williams are by far not the only ones who still sorely miss Ledger. The actor had become synonymous with class, both on and off-screen. The mere fact that Williams didn’t lose sight of Ledger’s kindness even after their separation speaks volumes about his character. And she’s not the only woman whose admiration for the actor lived on long after romantic love was gone.

George Pimentel/WireImage for Turner

Naomi Watts, who also dated him between 2002 and 2004, couldn’t stay indifferent to the tragic occasion: “Thinking about this beautiful soul today. 10 years ago he left this world. He was a true original,” she posted along with a picture of him. “Heart always on his sleeve, with the most powerful charisma, strength, humor and talent. I will never forget his gentle spirit.”

May he rest in peace!

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